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NEW YORK CITY-New York City Economic Development Corp. has designated the team of Vornado Realty Trust and its wholly-owned subsidiary Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. to redevelop and expand the trade show facility on Manhattan’s west side between 51st and 54th streets on Route 9A. The project will expand the trade show facility on Pier 94 to include Pier 92.

The enlarged facility will contain approximately 355,000 sf of trade show and conference space. The project will also feature a 9,300-sf winter garden and accessible open space around the perimeter of Pier 94–amenities that will be maintained by the developer. A 60,000-sf logistics center, located on Pier 92, will accommodate loading and unloading, storage and other back-of-the-house functions to relieve traffic congestion.

The $100 million renovation will create about 1,200 construction jobs, employ about 150 workers during trade show operations, and produce about $360 million in economic activity over 25 years. “This new, expanded facility will enable us to accommodate more of the mid-sized trade shows that we know want to come to New York City,” says Nycedc president Seth Pinsky, in a prepared statement. “Convention business, including trade and consumer shows, last year drew nearly four million visitors to the City and injected $4.32 billion into the local economy. This new, expanded facility will allow us to win a greater share of this multi-billion dollar business.”

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn notes that “each year, New York City loses out on billions of dollars because we don’t have an adequate trade show facility. This is an industry that creates good, middle-class jobs that can support families and strengthen communities. Expanding and improving the Pier 94 facility to include Pier 92 will allow our City to compete for decades to come.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the developer will lease the piers for 49 years, with two 25-year extensions. The developer will phase construction to allow for continuing operation of the existing trade shows. The project will include approximately 125,000 sf of trade show space on the ground floor and second level of Pier 92, 85,000 sf on Pier 94, and 145,000 sf in the completely rebuilt head house. The new facility will feature three separate entrances to accommodate a number of simultaneous trade show events efficiently.

In addition to Vornado and Merchandise Mart Properties, the development team also includes Dattner Architects, SMWM Architects, and Philip Habib, traffic consultants. Vornado chairman and CEO Steven Roth says that “we want to create an economic engine at Piers 92 and 94 that helps everyone in our city.”

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